Saturday, June 25, 2011

Range planning in Textile Designing

A range is a group of products offered for sale.  These products will be designer’s answer to a brief.  Having the right products in a range is very important in terms of haow well that range will sell. 
Good design adds value to a product.  With products of equal quality and price, the design will be what differentiates.  What does the designer need to know or make decisions about when planning a range?  Or, put at its most simplistic, how does a designer decide what to design?
                All designers are designing for the future and are influenced by trends in their product area.  The whole area of forecasting (see Chapter 5) is one where much money is invested to ‘get it right’ and much money can be lost if a designer gets it wrong.
                As well as needing to understand forecasting, a designer needs to know other information when planning a range.  This includes:

·         type of products,
·         customer/market areas,
·         price points,
·         manufacturing capabilities,
·         quality required,
·         number of designs,
·         number of colourways.

It is usually the job of the design manager (or stylist) in a studio to plan the ranges.  There will have been some discussion with sales, marketing and production about all or some of the factors listed above – essentially to build up a full picture of what criteria the range must answer.
                The type of designs depends on the products being designed for, the customer profile, price points for sales, manufacturing plant availability and quality.  The number of designs and colourways in a range is controlled by several commercial factors including the amount of capital the company wishes to tie up in the range, the raw materials that are needed, the amount of stock that can be carried, and the production capacity, i.e. the number of machines available for printing/knitting/weaving the range (some machines may be tied up with specific customer orders rather than general range production). 

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